Did you catch the Oscars this year? If you were cosily tucked up in bed when the ceremony started, you’d have missed the fact that the dominant dress colour on the red carpet was pink. Everyone from Julia Roberts to Dame Helen Mirren was packaged up in pink. Even Aquaman star Jason Momoa rocked the look, turning up in a muted pink suit and matching pink hair scrunchie.
If you’re familiar with Social Sugar – even if you’ve only ever seen our posts on Linked In – you’ll know that we have a passion for pink. The brand colour of our PR and Digital agency could be described as hot pink, Barbie pink or bubble-gum. It’s on everything from our office mugs and walls to our beanbags and – often – our own persons, too.
So where does our passion for pink come from? Here’s a little insight…
Pink and positivity
During World War Two the colour drained from the western world. The countries of Europe were flooded with the dull muddy colours of army fatigues while many on the home front dressed themselves in mourning black from top to toe.
When the conflict was finally over and rationing on things like fabrics came to an end, pink returned to the streets. It became associated with optimism, hope, positivity and the possibility of a return to prosperity.
Pink and presidents
Following World War Two, pink became strongly associated with Mamie Eisenhower. It was reportedly her favourite colour because she thought it brought out the blue in her eyes. The first lady wore a rhinestone-studded pink ball gown and opera gloves to her husband’s inauguration.
Then once the presidential couple had moved into The White House, Mamie painted her kitchen pink and picked out so many pink furnishings for her new home that it earned it the nickname of The Pink Palace.
Pink and calm
In 2017, Pantone chose Rose Quartz and Serenity as its colours of the year. Why? Because of the calming qualities of the pink hue.
In announcing its choice Pantone said: “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colours that psychologically fulfil our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”
Pink and its popular origins
Forget what they say about pink for girls and blue for boys. Up until the start of the 20th century, pink was a unisex colour. In fact, it was largely known as a paler version of the red colour of the military uniform that was being worm at the time.
Pink and power
In the latter parts of the twenty teens the colour pink has been appropriated by various social movements to express power. Not least, in 2017 the lollipop pink Pussyhat was created as a symbol of women’s rights and solidarity.
In India, meanwhile, the Gulabi Gang decided that pink saris would be their uniform of choice to protest about injustice to women.
Whatever you make of these movements, one thing is for sure, there was no ignoring them or their Pop Art-art pink symbolism.
Pink and creativity
According to a reader survey by Very Well Mind, pink inspires people. The online resource for positive mental health carried quotes such as the below from readers who claimed the colour made them feel more creative.
“I do not wear pink but I am drawn to it for my study where I do not have to compromise with my husband. It is a happy colour and it makes me feel creative. For the first time in my life I am decorating with pink, hot pink.”
Pink and pep
There’s a famous section of The Great Gatsby in which it is claimed that somewhere in Gatsby’s mysterious past there’s an Oxford education.
The incredulous response from character Tom is: “Like hell he is, he wears a pink suit”.
Gatsby is a flamboyant character with a passion for life. His pink suit sums up his pizzazz. What he wears is the antithesis of stuffy and demonstrates a zesty approach to life.